1 Nov 2003
By CHRIS HARRIS
TOYOTA launched its Kluger range of five and seven-seat 4WD wagons in late 2003 – partly to fill in the gap left by the discontinued Camry wagon, and partly to take on the emerging Ford Territory SUV.
The three models in the all-wheel drive range share the same fundamental mechanical lay-out and sheetmetal.
Those mechanicals include an all-alloy 3.3-litre VVTi V6 engine producing 172kW at 5600rpm and 328NM of torque at 3600rpm, a five-speed automatic transmission and MacPherson strut suspension all-round.
Its claimed combined average fuel consumption is 12.3 litres/100km on the ADR 81/01 Combined cycle.
The biggest variance technically is in the AWD system. The entry level CV and the mid-spec CVX employ a viscous-coupled centre limited slip differential and limited slip rear differential.
Top-of-the range Grande has electronic control of torque split, using the car’s standard stability and traction control systems to negotiate the going off-roadBut low range is not part of the package. In that, the Kluger complies with standard crossover practice that is also adhered to by the Territory and Holden Adventra.
Unlike those two, the Kluger is not locally manufactured. But, being built on the same TMP monocoque platform as the local Camry and Avalon, it is an obvious target for local production.
The Kluger also shares its platform and drivetrain with the Lexus RX330.
There’s no shortage of equipment, with the safety baseline including dual airbags, ABS disc brakes with EBD and Brake Assist, three-point seatbelts and head restraints all round.
Importantly for a vehicle with off-road pretensions, Kluger includes a full-sized spare wheel.
Interior design is quite versatile, including a 60/40 split second row seat with 120mm of sliding fore/aft slide adjustmentComfort features include cruise control, six-speaker audio, luggage area tonneau cover, climate control air-conditioning and a trip computer.
Interior design is quite versatile, including a 60/40 split second row seat with 120mm of sliding fore/aft slide adjustment. Access to the third row seat is by a one-touch tilt and slide walk-in function for the 40 per cent portion of the second-row seat.
Kluger has 580 litres of luggage volume (VDA method) when the third row seats are in their folded position.
From October ’05 a mildly revised Kluger range was released.
THE Toyota Kluger 4WD wagon has emerged with a series of changes.
The 3.3-litre engine now meets Euro3 emission regulations and, among other things, on the range-topping Grande (and mid-range CVX, where specified), a viscous-coupled limited-slip centre differential is included.
Cosmetic work includes the addition of six-spoke alloy wheels and roof rails on the CV grade (with seven-seat option only), and a rear spoiler on CVX.
When it was new